When the time comes for children to care for parents there can be many tough choices to make. Chris and May Potter believe that families should stick together, and the creation of a granny annexe began a new life for Chris’s mother.
Following the death of his father, Chris Potter realised that special arrangements would need to be made for his mother if she was to continue to live independently. “Mum and Dad worked as a team, with each managing to do the everyday things the other could no longer handle.
When Dad passed away last year there were few options for Mum – residential care was the one we all feared most.” With concern for his mother and also for the huge cost of accommodation, Chris and his wife May, made the decision to bring Mrs Potter closer to home.
Safe and Sound
“Mum is independent in spirit but there are some things she can’t do alone, like cooking meals and getting up and down stairs. In order to retain her sense of personal space we converted our garage to make a cosy environment for her only steps away from our own home.” Chris believes his mother now has the best of both worlds with facilities more suited to her dexterity. “We designed the granny annexe with one bedroom complete with en suite bathroom, so mum no longer needs to negotiate stairs throughout the day.”
Space and Quiet
Along with the bedroom Mrs Potter’s accommodation consists of a large open plan kitchen, lounge and dining room, giving her ample uncluttered space. “Mum and Dad lived in a small Victorian terraced house and had struggled in latter years to negotiate their way around furniture. Now Mum can get around safely, though we’ve kept as many of her treasured possessions as possible. It was important to make the new place feel safe and familiar; it was quite a wrench for her to leave the home she had shared with my father for sixty years.” May agrees, “I was keen to add some feminine touches to the annexe. Chris handled the practicalities and I added the finishing touches.”
Mrs Potter chose the colour scheme for her new home, and was instrumental in the selection of flooring and fixtures and fittings. Chris and May realised this was an important step in settling her into her new home. “We didn’t want to impose our taste and style upon Mum so everything around her was her choice,” Chris explains “she’s such a house-proud lady, and she loves showing off her new home!”
The Last Word
So we’ve heard from Chris and May, but how does Mrs Potter feel about her new home? “I think it’s splendid,” she says, “when my husband died the home we shared was very empty and quiet, and I felt I had lost my right arm. Though I still miss him dearly, being nearer to Chris and my lovely daughter-in-law has given me a new lease of life. I am as independent as I want to be from one day to the next.”